CLEARAS’ Biological Wastewater Treatment Shines in Pilot Testing at Riverchase WWTP

HOOVER, AL – With tighter regulations looming for nutrient limits in the Cahaba River, a new wastewater technology pilot program of CLEARAS Water Recovery’s Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNR™) system recently began at Riverchase WWTP in partnership with the City of Hoover, ClearWater Solutions, and manufacturing representatives, The TDH Company. Early results have been extremely impressive with the microalgae-based system producing reductions in total phosphorus to near non-detect levels, along with considerable reductions in nitrogen. To date, total phosphorus levels averaging 0.153 mg/L at the treatment plant have been cut to an average of 0.009 mg/L thanks to the CLEARAS technology. Given the new, stricter regulatory requirements from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for surface water dischargers regarding phosphorus levels, plant superintendent, Mike McCary, has been encouraged by the performance of the CLEARAS ABNR system. “The CLEARAS pilot is treating our wastewater nutrient loads to well below even the most stringent industry standards, so these early results are definitely exciting,” said McCary, adding that all partners were looking forward to reviewing the extended performance results once the pilot test concludes later this month.

Excess nutrients (particularly phosphorus and nitrogen) in surface waters are a global problem, but there has been an increased focus on them in the last several years with the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) becoming increasingly common, especially in warmer waterways across the Southeast. These HABs have negative environmental and economic impacts on the livelihood of those who rely on these sensitive water bodies within the state. Operators, managers, and regulators are doing their part as they think ahead to the next generation of wastewater technologies like ABNR that can help them solve their nutrient challenges, prevent adverse environmental effects, and save their rate payers money in the process.

An open house to showcase the CLEARAS ABNR technology with representatives from the partnership will be held at the Riverchase WWTP Wednesday, April 12th, 10 AM - 2 PM (EDT) with tours available by appointment running through April 24th. Please contact TDH representative, Holman Waters (404) 213-6935, or Clearas site manager, Brian Richichi (406) 381-1883, for additional information and to schedule a tour.

The CLEARAS Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNR™) solution is a natural and sustainable technology which relies on microbiology (algae) that is already present in wastewater processes to consume nutrients that are dissolved in the waste stream and ultimately filtered out. Much like trees and plants, this microbiological process consumes nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and CO2) and releases oxygen into the water.

Nutrients present in wastewater are generally classified as either suspended or dissolved. Suspended nutrients are particulate in the water that can be removed fairly easily using numerous filter solutions. The dissolved portion is in solution and therefore presents challenges for removal / recovery. The ABNR technology addresses the dissolved nutrient portion by creating an optimized environment for the algae to consume the nutrients, after which it can be removed / recovered.


CLEARAS is the leading provider of advanced, biological-based, water treatment technologies for municipal and industrial point source dischargers. Our proprietary technology leverages algae’s biological benefits in a carefully controlled and continuous flow environment that removes nitrogen, phosphorus and other harmful nutrients found in industrial water discharge and wastewater effluent. Visit www.clearaswater.com for more information.


TDH provides quality engineered products and systems through a technically qualified sales force committed to assisting clients in obtaining a mechanically sound and economically feasible water and/or wastewater system. We are committed to the sale of systems solving both standard and unique engineering problems economically and technically.

TDH is highly qualified as a sales and marketing agency for the municipal public works water and wastewater market in the Deep South. Visit www.tdhco.com for more information.


ClearWater Solutions, LLC, is an operations and maintenance company headquartered in Opelika, Alabama. Established in January 2007, our company partners with municipalities, county governments, private individuals, and water and wastewater boards to provide operations and maintenance of water and wastewater systems. Visit www.clearwatersol.com for more information.

Date (new): 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017